Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) is pouring US$2,2 million into Bubi Milling Centre (Private) Limited in Matabeleland North province to capacitate artisanal and small-scale miners under the initiative with mining equipment and accessories.
The capacitation programme involves the installation of a Carbon-in-Pulp (CIP) plant at Bubi Milling Centre and equipping ZOO 9 and ZOO 7 small-scale mines in Bubi with mining equipment and accessories such as hoist, generators and electricity transformers as well as offering capacity building programmes on mining.
A CIP plant is an extraction technique for recovery of gold, which has been liberated into cyanide solution as part of the gold cyanidation process.
In a recent interview, ZMDC general manager Mr Blessed Chitambira said their joint venture initiative with Bubi Small-Scale Miners Association was a corporate social responsibility programme.
“We have a corporate social responsibility where we are capacitating the miners so that they can fend for themselves while also developing and generating revenue from the mines. We want to bring in some modern sort of hoisting because at the moment they are using an old hoisting. We have already bought the hoisting, what we want to do is to install it at ZOO 9 so that more tonnage can come out of the ground.
“If the installation of that hoisting is successful, we will then move to another ZOO 7, which is also located in Bubi where we want to capacitate them in terms of the hoisting; currently they are doing it, bringing the gold ore from underground to the surface, manually something that is not sustainable,” he said.
“We also want to put a modern CIP plant at the Bubi Milling Centre and as we speak, we are in the process of bringing that plant there so that there is enough feed into it after we have capacitated our mines. We intend to pour
US$2,2 million in terms of the installation of the CIP plant and capacitation of the miners.”
At present, the ZOO 9 project is producing about 28 tonnes of gold ore per month, which Mr Chitambira said was not sustainable against the 100-tonne target.
“Currently, they are doing about 14 tonnes per two weeks and that is not sustainable; we would want that current production be produced either in two days or in a day. Our target for that mine is for it to produce 100 tonnes per month initially and then it will ramp up.
“Once it reaches 100 tonnes of ore per month, we know that if we capacitate three mines, we know we already have enough feed for the CIP plant. We are putting in systems to make sure that in terms of the work cycle they will be able to give us 100 tonnes per month instead of 28 tonnes per month which they are currently doing,” he said.
In August this year, Bubi Milling Centre (Private) Limited announced the intent to build a CIP plant under a Build-Operate Transfer arrangement.
The plant is one of the numerous gold service centres earmarked for capacitating artisanal and small-scale miners to realise optimum returns from their ore.
Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga commissioned the Bubi Milling Centre in July 2018.
Under the Second Republic, the country targets to establish more gold service centres across all the mining regions as a strategy towards the US$12 billion milestone by 2023. – @okazunga